A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
While you're printing, your 3D printer releases a big amount of fumes, as you may have already smelt. FDM 3D Printing technology is based on the fusion of a thermoplastic filament. This process is known to issues a lot of nanoparticles and gases. All the professional processes based on material fusion have big and efficient exhausting and filtering solutions. We tend to forget it but personal 3D printers are real manufacturing boxes inside our homes, schools or offices.
This melting of plastic releases two main potential toxins. Nanoparticles (NP) and Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) gases.
Nanoparticle (NP) and Ultrafine Particles (UFP) are the interchangeable generic terms for any solid particle that is less than 100 nanometers in size. NP/UFPs can present several different kinds of dangers due to not only their composition, which may or may not be toxic, but also their size. When inhaled, NP/UFP can become trapped in the very smallest areas of the lung’s alveoli, which are the tiny sacs covered in blood capillaries where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged between the blood stream and the lungs. If they are small enough, the particles can actually pass directly from the lungs into the blood stream, and once there move on to, and accumulate in, other organs in the body such as the brain, the liver, or spleen. And the particles do not have to be toxic in and of themselves to cause problems or poisoning, so even PLA particles (which currently are widely believed to be non-toxic) can build up in the lungs and cause serious harm.
On the other hand, VOCs can include any number of different chemicals and in varying amounts. For example, in ABS, the VOCs released when the filament is melted can contain 10 to 20 different chemicals, most notably Styrene, a chemical which has been classified as toxic and a possible carcinogen.
Real world example:
If we consider that one 3D Printer operates continuously in a well-mixed 45 m3 furnished and conditioned office space (Ventilation rate of 1/hour), we observe an ultrafine particles concentration of 58 000 particles/cm3. It’s more than 11 times higher than what we observe in a typical home, office or school ambient air. Regarding the gases: With this configuration, the predicted styrene concentration is about 150µg/m3, which is 20 times higher than the highest styrene concentration measured in commercial buildings in the U.S. That is not acceptable! In France, the particles pollution is the 3rd cause of death: more than 48 000 people die every year as a result of particles pollution. We can’t accept even more pollution inside our home!
Ultrafine particles and Volatile Organic Compounds released while you're 3D printing are special: their weight is so low that they don't deal with gravity. In other words, they never fall back and remain in the air. It means that any air stream spread them through every direction. In this way, those particles are given off through the room. That's why it's really important not to let them spread by filtering them at the emission source, directly near the nozzle of your printer. This will stop the diffusion in your environment.
We also are 3D printing lovers. Nicolas, 3D Designer and Engineer, 3D printers user since many years now, was tired of always letting his window open, and of not being able to print during night. That's why he decided to develop a filtering system compatible with every 3D printer, in order to share his solution with all the 3D printers users that might need it.
After smelling the effectiveness of the prototype (once ABS smell had disappeared), we decided to improve and certify our product in order to make it reliable and manufacturable.
This emission of fumes is a global issue for 3D printers users. Some solutions exist, but our solution is unique. You don’t need to build any enclosure because our system isn't just an efficient filtering solution, it's also a powerful hoovering system that aspirates the particles and gases directly where they are produced: in the extrusion nozzle.
Zimpure is officially certified to filter 99% of the ultrafine particles and more than 90% of the gases issued by your 3D printer. It has been tested in a laboratory specialized in air pollution (CEA, LSCE department). You can access more information about the testing procedure and the complete results in our certified study report.
Zimpure combines two filters: One ultrafine particle filter, which filters 99.9% of the UFP released. One gases filter, which filters 98% of the VOC released.
Our powerful and quiet fan assures you an efficient suction flow: More than 99% of the UFP and 90% of the gases are sucked.
This curve was acquired by a CPC, measuring particles from 10nm diameter to 300nm. On the left side of the line you can see the UFP (UltraFine Particles) concentration while printing without Zimpure, and on the right side of the line the UFP concentration while printing with Zimpure. The average concentration of UFP while printing without using Zimpure is 373 539#/cm3. When Zimpure is plugged, the concentration falls back to 170#/cm3. It means that 99.9% of the UFP are filtered!
This curve was acquired by a PTRMS, measuring VOC concentration for each atomic mass, in order to know the concentration of each different compound. On the left side of the line you can see the VOC concentration while printing without Zimpure, and on the right side of the line the VOC concentration while printing with Zimpure. The average concentration of VOC while printing without using Zimpure is 78 ppb, When Zimpure is plugged, VOC concentration falls back to 1.38 ppb. It means that 98.2% of the VOC are filtered!
Thanks to our new and innovative way to tackle the issue of 3D Printers emissions, Zimpure is compatible with all your 3D printers. You just have to choose the right suction head, depending on your printer. At this time, we have designed and tested suction heads for the most popular 3D printers (Zortrax, Ultimaker, FlashForge, MakerBot, Delta, Prusa, M3D Micro).
If you already have an enclosure for your 3D Printer and you want to add it an effective filtering system, it's possible with Zimpure! Just plug it in through one panel and let it stick out by 1/2mm. The same is possible for a fully closed printer like Raise, Robox...
We are going to design more and more suction heads. We also think that our community, using any other printer, will be able to inspire us to make it compatible with their printer. Everyone who has acquired Zimpure will be able to access the suction head 3D files on our website in order to download it and to print it!
As we outlined you before, Zimpure is a very efficient filtering system. But it’s much more than that: it is also a powerful exhausting system ! To reach that point, Zimpure is linked to your extruder by a flexible silicone pipe. This pipe is tied to your extruder by a clipping system, by screws or by Velcro straps, depending on your printer. The suction flow is put as close as possible of the nozzle, in order to aspirate the most of the particles.
Nicolas: "Antoine is a fantastic Web Developer and student in Data Science. He started creating websites at 12! Deeply passionate by the Internet, he brings his web experience and knowledge to this project."
Antoine: "Nicolas is a soul Maker. He has loved making things since his childhood. That's what led him to become an electronics engineer and a 3D Printing Lover. 3D Designer and Maker, he decided to create Zimple in order to share his work with anybody which might need it."
Risks and challenges
We are production ready. We have already found all our suppliers, and we have been working with Protolabs on the injection molding final product for a few weeks. Our design is now fully injectable and manufacturable.
We are going to produce ourselves, in France. We have already the place to do it! In this way, we can control each step of the production and reduce the risk of issues along it.
Our tests on many different printers, representing the main configurations we can find on 3D Printers, show us our product is going to be compatible with all the 3D Printers. We have already designed and tested the suction heads for them. More are coming. Today we can't afford to buy all the 3D Printers available. After this campaign, we will be able to purchase others in order to design and test new suction heads. Furthermore, 3D printers users are often designers, engineers or makers, so we think our community is going to design new ones, even maybe improving ours. We can then share them with all the Zimple community. The designer who will make some new heads will be rewarded!
Back us! You will not be disappointed :)
You don’t have any 3D Printer yet but you want to help us to impulse the 3D Printing safe way? This reward is for you! Thanks a lot for standing with us!
You'll receive all the updates from our project and you'll appear on our "Wall of thanks".